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Recent Blog Posts

“Scams” Targeting New Homeowners

Certified Copy of Your Deed. All homeowners should be aware that, for several years now, a company called “National Deed Service” or “National Record Service” targets homeowners (new homeowners in particular) advising them that they must have a certified copy of their Deed. This is not the case. The company is selling an unnecessary product. […]

Unclaimed Property (Part 1)

When property (like a bank account, annuity, or life insurance policy) goes untouched or unclaimed for a certain amount of time, it “escheats” to the State. The property still belongs to the original owner, but you now have to go through your state’s Unclaimed Property division in order to claim your property. To find out […]

Life Insurance as a Student Loan Safety Net

With increases in college tuition outpacing inflation every year, many students turn to loans to cover the cost of school. Financial institutions generally require a cosigner on these loans to secure the student’s debt—nearly always the student’s parents. This is all well and good assuming the student graduates college and finds a job after graduation. […]

Elective Share of Surviving Spouse

The New Jersey statute pertaining to a surviving spouse’s elective share, R. 3B:8-1, reads as follows: “If a married person or person in a domestic partnership dies domiciled in this State, on or after May 28, 1980, the surviving spouse or domestic partner has a right of election to take an elective share of one-third of […]

Special issues for employees using their car for business matters

If you are a business owner and you have one or more employees who use their cars for business matters, you need to be aware of the rules governing employees’ use of vehicles. These rules not only pertain to reimbursements and deductions, but to employer liability as well. (Note that this is not for the employee commuting to […]

How Assets Are Owned Will Affect Distribution at Death

Anybody who knows me knows that I always recommend a person have a Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney. This article will focus on a Will and the effects of how assets are owned. A Will distributes “probate assets.” “Probate assets” are assets owned by you without an automatic beneficiary. However, if you currently […]

“Domestic Partners” and Transfer Inheritance Taxes

Generally, when a person dies, New Jersey death taxes apply. We have two levels of taxes: NJ Estate Taxes. These are only owed if the decedent has more than $675,000 in total assets, including life insurance. NJ Transfer Inheritance Taxes. The rate depends on a person’s relationship to the decedent. Depending on the closeness of […]

Estate Planning: Talking With Your Family

Planning your estate can be a difficult and emotionally-charged process. How does one go about discussing an estate plan with those who it will affect the most—family? As unpleasant and painful as a conversation about your Estate plan might seem, it is an extremely important topic to discuss with your loved ones. You need to […]

Estate Planning and Retirement Accounts

When planning your Estate, it is important to recognize that certain assets will be distributed to a designated beneficiary at death, rather than according to your Will. A common example of this is a joint bank account. Say a mother and her daughter have a bank account held jointly, with right of survivorship. If the […]

Estate Administration Part 3: Your responsibilities as the Administrator of the Estate

As mentioned in the previous post, here are the specific responsibilities that come with being the Administrator of an Estate: (a) Apply to become Administrator of the Estate – you must wait 5 days after the date of death. However, the Surrogate’s Office will often accept the papers in advance of this and hold same until […]

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